Norway and Australia to cooperate on JSM-development

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence and the Australian Department of Defence have agreed to cooperate on the development of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), following talks between Norwegian State Secretary Mr. Øystein Bø and his Australian colleague Mr. Stuart Robert during the Norwegian State visit to Australia this week. The agreement seeks to support the introduction of an advanced maritime strike weapon on the F-35 in the early 2020's time frame.

JSM og F-35
JSM og F-35. Credit: US Air Force/Forsvarsdepartementet

- Although far apart geographically, Norway and Australia share many of the same challenges. We are both maritime nations on the periphery of our immediate regions, with a large land mass and even larger maritime territories, yet relatively limited populations. This means that we have to maximize the effects of the capabilities that we invest in to ensure that they cover as much of the spectrum of operations as possible, said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Norway and Australia have maintained a close dialogue for several years regarding the JSM within the framework of the multinational F-35-partnership. This agreement takes the process one step further, with Australia agreeing to provide expertise in missile control and guidance systems.

The cooperation between Norway and Australia on the JSM was announced at Avalon Air Show earlier today. From the left, Deputy Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Leo Davies, Norwegian State Secretary of Defence Mr. Øystein Bø, and Executive Vice President of Kongsberg Defence Systems, Mr. Pål Bratlie

- The JSM is already a very capable missile, but with the support of Australia, we hope to make it even better. Though Australia is still a few years away from making any final decisions on its future maritime strike capability, we are encouraged by the interest they have shown for both the missile and for the capabilities of Norwegian industry. We should now continue talks between our two governments, and aim to formalize this agreement in the near future, said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The Joint Strike Missile is an advanced long range precision strike missile, tailor made to fit the internal weapons bay of the F-35. The F-35, combined with the JSM, provide the ability to both locate and defeat heavily defended targets, both on land and at sea, at extended ranges, significantly enhancing the strategic capabilities of the aircraft. The missile utilizes advanced navigation, a passive infrared seeker, low signature and superior manoeuvrability to ensure mission effectiveness, thereby providing user nations with significantly enhanced combat capabilities.

Norway intends to procure up to 52 F-35A aircraft to enhance the ability of its Armed Forces to meet future security challenges, with first delivery planned for late 2015. Norway’s first four aircraft will be based at the F-35 International Pilot Training Centre at Luke Air Force Base Arizona, while the first F-35 will arrive in Norway in 2017. Australia has so far committed to procuring 72 F-35A, out of a planned 100, with the first two aircraft delivered in 2014.

For press enquiries please contact Communications Advisor within the Norwegian F-35 Program Office, Mr. Endre Lunde, on endre.lunde@fd.dep.no